Crane Pond: A Novel of Salem

Richard Francis

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Crane Pond: A Novel of Salem

Crane Pond A Novel of Salem Usually told from the perspective of the victims the Salem Witch Trials are a forever story The vestiges of a particular strain of American social hysteria remain with us even today In Crane Pond Ri

  • Title: Crane Pond: A Novel of Salem
  • Author: Richard Francis
  • ISBN: 9781609453510
  • Page: 452
  • Format: Paperback
  • Usually told from the perspective of the victims, the Salem Witch Trials are a forever story The vestiges of a particular strain of American social hysteria remain with us even today In Crane Pond, Richard Francis reveals a side of the history that is not often recounted, as he skillfully constructs a portrait of Samuel Sewall, the only judge to later admit that a terribUsually told from the perspective of the victims, the Salem Witch Trials are a forever story The vestiges of a particular strain of American social hysteria remain with us even today In Crane Pond, Richard Francis reveals a side of the history that is not often recounted, as he skillfully constructs a portrait of Samuel Sewall, the only judge to later admit that a terrible mistake had been made In a colony on the edge of survival in a mysterious new world where infant mortality is high and sin is to blame, Sweall is committed to being a loving family man, a good citizen, and a fair minded judge Like any believing Puritan, he agonizes over what others think of him, while striving to act morally correct, keep the peace, and hopefully make time to enjoy a hefty slice of pie His one regret is that only months before he didn t sentence a group of pirates to death What begins as a touching story of a bumbling man tasked with making judgements in a society where reason is often ephemeral, quickly becomes the chilling narrative we know too well And when public opinion wavers, Sweall learns that what has been done cannot be undone Crane Pond explores the inner life of a well meaning man who compormised with evil It presents an unflinching portrayal of Sewall s efforts to piece together a new perspective from shattered preconceptions, vividly tracking his search for atonement, for peace, and ultimately for a renewal of hope At once a searing view of the Trials from the inside out, an empathetic portrait of one of the period s most tragic and redemptive figures, and an indictment of the malevolent power of religious and political idealism, it is a thrilling new telling of one of America s founding stories.

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      Published :2018-06-15T10:32:02+00:00

    One thought on “Crane Pond: A Novel of Salem

    1. Lbsantini on said:

      “The greatest sin of all is to be without hope, because that is a denial of God.”Among the best books I’ve read (and I’ve read a lot). And still, I’ve read little about the Salem witch trials, probably only skimmed The Crucible in high school. Sure, I knew these trials were a mockery and miscarriage of justice, but not how great until Crane Pond. I spent a great portion of the book shocked by what passed as evidence in the Puritan courtroom. I thought too about what now might be simila [...]

    2. Paul Bk on said:

      Crane Pond is a novel about the Salem witch trials. I suspect like many people my introduction to Salem was Miller's play 'The Crucible' (1953). Miller used Salem as an allegory in the era of McCarthyism illustrating how deeply these events at the birth of modern America resonate down the centuries. So Crane Pond is tackling an important piece of the American story.The trials, which spread throughout the new colony, resulted in the execution of twenty people. Five more died in prison before a ha [...]

    3. Linda Hepworth on said:

      When I was asked to review this novel about the Salem witch trials, I readily agreed because it is a period of history which has always fascinated me. However, I have to admit that I did wonder whether any author could possibly add anything new to this well known and often told story. I was delighted to discover that Richard Francis has done just that in this wonderful novel. He has done so by focusing on Samuel Sewell, a respected Boston merchant who was appointed to serve as one of the judges [...]

    4. Annie on said:

      While I know some of the history of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible still pops up in my mind whenever I see the Trials referenced. For those not familiar with the play, The Crucible focuses on the accused and their accusers to show how revenge-based hysteria can destroy a community. Many other accounts of the Trials also tend to focus on the accusers and the accused to try and understand what really happened. Crane Pond by Richard Francis, however, centers on one of t [...]

    5. Joni on said:

      Judge Samuel Sewall of Salem, Massachusetts is in a conundrum over the witch trials over which he and other judges are presiding. His Puritan faith and upright life tell him they are guilty, their actions and opinions of others tell him most are innocent of any wrongdoing. Set amidst a tumultuous time and dark place in our history, this novel places the reader right in the middle of the inner lives and families of the judges and the condemned, leaving much to ponder and learn from this tragedy.

    6. Theresa on said:

      “The crisis started as a children’s game and like a children’s game it had run its course and now the players have gone home to bed (except of course for the ones who died).”A fascinating look at the madness of the Salem Witch Trials.

    7. Autumn on said:

      There's nothing wrong with this book, it deals with the Salem trials in an undramatic, factual kind of way Unfortunately, I didn't really feel any real interest in the characters.

    8. Selena on said:

      I couldn't stand the way this was written, so I unfortunately couldn't finish this.

    9. Deborah Padgett on said:

      Excellent. Meaty. Revealing of the ongoing struggle humans undertake to define separateness and create society. Based on the real live Cotton Mather and Judge Sewell in Salem in the 1600’s.

    10. Meaghan on said:

      This is the best book I've read so far this year a brilliant character study of one of the Salem witch judges. My only complaint is that I really have no idea why the title is "Crane Pond."

    11. Susan Zinner on said:

      Interesting book that considers the Salem witch trials from the perspective of one of the judges (as opposed to the typical view of one of the girls). We saw the judge and his beloved wife and family struggle to figure out why Satan is in their community and tormenting these girls. He ultimately realizes he has been duped and experiences some redemption at the end. Really good

    12. Erin Lynch on said:

      Marvelous historical fiction written by a man who really knows how to do his historical research. It's not common for writers of historical fiction to also have published non-fiction historical research about the time period. Francis published a non-fiction work about the Salem Witch Trials in 2005 (/book/show/2) and his expert knowledge about the topic shows clearly in this book.In addition to his historical knowledge, Francis has a skill for making his characters come alive and in introducing [...]

    13. saizine on said:

      There’s only really one way to start this: Crane Pond is definitely on my best of 2016 list. The novel is incredibly quiet and introspective, perhaps the opposite of what you might expect from a story centered around the Salem Witch Trials, but made all the better from swerving away from that expectation. The descriptions of local family life are exquisite, and the internal self-reflection of Samuel Sewall is absolutely genius. This has already taken pride of place on my bookshelf, and that wa [...]

    14. Catherine on said:

      DNF. I know this book has gotten rave reviews, and if you are one of the many who enjoyed it, good for you. I personally thought this book was incredibly dull. I thought the subject matter would hold my interest, but after a third of the way through the book I decided to give it up. I zoned out through the litany of characters and Sewall's endless introspection. I just couldn't make myself finish it.

    15. Lisa Hunt on said:

      This was very interesting and also one of the most unsettling books I've read. Really crazy time and truly frightening how such a frenzy took hold. I'll probably track down a non fiction account to learn more about it.

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